Friday, April 29, 2011

Enough Already With The Royal Wedding - One Franciscan's Perspective

First, let me admit that I regularly watch the BBC America channel, and that I watch and listen to the BBS World News. I will also admit that I watched the BBC documentary series, “Monarchy,” about the daily life of Queen Elizabeth II. Okay, I will admit that I watched that series several times.

That being said, I am tired of all the hype, the hoopla that has surrounded today’s wedding of Prince Harry and Kate Middleton. Yes, it is a prime social news story that deserves coverage by the major news organizations. But when local news stations dig into their pockets to send local reporters to cover it; there is a question of where the priority lies. And they have filed so many stories leading up to today, that they are really stretching what is relevant to report on.

This reminds me of a story that the Franciscan friar and biographer of St. Francis of Assisi, Thomas of Celano, told:

“He (Francis) taught them not only to mortify vices and repress carnal movements, but also to restrain the exterior senses themselves, for through them death enters the soul. When at that time the Emperor Otto was passing through the place with much clamor and pomp to receive the crown of his earthly empire, the most holy father, who was living with his brothers in that hovel close to the road on which the emperor would pass, did not even go out to watch; and he did not let any one else to do so except one who continuously called out to the Emperor that his glory would last but a short time,..”

Yes, this is a time for the people of Great Britain to celebrate, to have a moment of joy after so much bad news. And yes, the rest of the world can watch, and enjoy the spectacle as it plays out on our televisions and computer monitors. But there are people out there that should not be forgotten, the tornado victims in the South, the earthquake victims of Japan; the Arab protestors, seeking freedom. They and others deserve our attention more!

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